Printed on paper tutorial

Here’s a quick tutorial showing how to make your illustration/graphics look like they’re printed. This is pretty much the same as the first tutorial, only we’ll be using different textures for the image than the background. For this example I’m re-creating my Cookie’s Plonk desktop wallpaper.

texture tutorial

This is our starting point, check here to download the Photoshop file I’ve used.

texture tutorial

1. Create a layer mask. Open the image you want to look printed. If you want you can download the image I’ve used here. Click the mask button on the bottom of the layer panel (1).

texture tutorial

2. Add some paper texture. If you’re using my photoshop file, select the Textured Paper layer and copy it. Then re-select the image layer and click the channels tab (1). Select the bottom layer (alpha channel) and paste in the texture (2).

texture tutorial

Return to the layers tab, and click the image layer. You can see above that the flat colour illustration now has the texture of the paper.
texture tutorial

3. Add some wear & tear. To make it look a bit more realistic you might want to add some extra wear and tear. First you need to apply the first mask, select from the menu Layer > Layer Mask > Apply. Then repeat step 2 but use the dirty paper layer instead of textured paper this time.

The finished image:

texture tutorial

Here’s the finished image! If you quickly scroll up and quickly compare it to the starting point – it’s good at taking the edge off crisp vector graphics, making them look warmer, friendlier & more real I think.

13 thoughts on “Printed on paper tutorial

  1. I just wanted to let you know that I just ran across this tutorial while looking for something almost completely unrelated, and it was just what I’d been looking for but didn’t know it! :P Awesome, thanks!

  2. Lately I’ve been trying to look for a branding for myself. I would love to have the wash texture (look) in my overall brand but couldn’t fine the right tutorials to give me the best results.

    Thanks to you I think I will be getting closer to solidifying the wash look I’m looking for in my personal design.

    Thanks Cookie. Great Tut.

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  4. Hey Cookie – been reading your blog for a while and really admiring your work, so thanks very much for these tutorials! Please do keep them coming whenever you have a mo… James

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